my old man

i feel him

when i’m alone

driving in my truck alone

from here to there

not really going anywhere

just driving

to be out

to be somewhere

other than my chair

with my books and thoughts

and television box

my old man alone

drove more miles past midnight

than a trucker on the road

out cruising bars and strip joints

like there was no one waiting for him at home

i remember lying on his pillow

i had a dream of being chased

through the woods by a savage beast

whose claws where sharp

whose skin was dark

who sank his teeth

when he drew the bloodline over me

now i drive more miles past midnight

then the earth’s last traveling salesman

hocking his birthright

for a few sorry dollars

to drive a couple more miles

because the lines on the street

are catching up to me

they remind me of the beast

who drew the black line over me

i would slow down if i could

but i don’t think i can

because when i look in the rearview mirror

i see the face of my old man

 

 

per the suggestion of a fellow blogsmith

i am including this poem by theodore roethke as a companion poem

My Papa’s Waltz

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Theodore Roethke

 

 

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6 thoughts on “my old man

  1. Just a small criticism: it’s ‘than’ not ‘then’ in both “other then my chair” and the line “then the earth’s last traveling salesman”. “Than” is a word of comparison, and “then” is used to describe chronological order, in example, “And then I wrote to tell you the differences between ‘then’ and ‘than’. I thought it was best to do so rather THAN to keep quiet about it and let the error remain.

    Like, I said: a small criticism, a typo, a spelling error. Other than that….freaking amazing! This reminds me a lot of Theodore Roethke’s work; you’ve got a similar vibe that I really dig on. (Would be a great read to read his “My Papa’s Waltz” right after your piece. Just my two cents.) I love the movement of your poem, great tempo through and through and I do not feel rushed through the poem, though I do feel haunted & chased by the narrator’s memory. LOVE!!!

  2. thank you so much and i do heartily welcome the critique as i’ve mentioned to other blogger friends, i used to be in a fantastic creative writing group where we did that for each other and it was incredibly helpful. i will now comb your poems for errors THEN i will comment about them rather THAN keep them to myself. I will check out “My Papa’s Waltz.

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